Research Tools

There are many great sources for researching Jacksonville history on the web. Here are some of our favorites:

Jacksonville Historical Society Archives and Research Library

The Jacksonville Historical Society oversees an archival repository with tens of thousands of items, including, but not limited to, rare photographs, diaries, maps, manuscripts, and films relating to city history and the history of Northeast Florida. As part of our Archives and Research Library, we maintain a research program that provides public use of the materials with a 30-hour-a-week staff, along with volunteers and college interns dedicated to assisting individuals, the media, government leaders, and researchers—from children to doctoral candidates—in pursuit of historical data and images. An ever-increasing electronic presence offers users throughout the world the opportunity to locate information and rare materials on Jacksonville and Northeast Florida. This also makes research more effective for the public, and minimizes potential wear and tear on the collections. Updates to the online collections occur as soon as the collections are digitized. The Archive and Research Library is open Monday – Friday by appointment, 10am-4pm. Please phone 904.665.0064 or email to set up an appointment.

University of Florida Digital Collections

    The University of Florida Digital Collections are a constantly growing collection of digital resources from the University of Florida Libraries’ collections as well as partner institutions. All materials are Open Access, and full text searchable. The UF Digital Collections’ holdings include books, articles, newspapers, photos, videos, audio, and more.

Florida History Online

    Florida History Online is a digital archive of textual and visual documents of Florida history produced by students and faculty at the University of North Florida. The web pages explore the complex historical legacy of Florida with interactive maps, primary documents, timelines, portraits, biographies, searchable databases, scholarly analysis, interpretive narratives, lesson plans for educators, and other tools of digital technology. Florida history will be placed in the wider context of American and Atlantic World history.

Florida Heritage Collection

    The Florida Heritage Collection is an ongoing cooperative project of the State University System (SUS) of Florida to digitize and provide online access to materials broadly representing Florida’s history, culture, arts, literature, sciences and social sciences. Thematic areas in this growing collection include Native American and minority populations, exploration and development, tourism, the natural environment, and regional interests.

Florida On Florida

    A comprehensive digital collection of Florida’s history, culture and environment. It includes all sorts of items including maps, photographs, postcards, books, and manuscripts. The materials in Florida On Florida come from digital collections held by libraries, archives, museums and historical societies throughout Florida.

Florida Memory Page

    Contains links for finding birth, marriage and death information for Florida ancestors, as well as Wiki articles on numerous online collections.


Archival Information – Jacksonville History Consortium 

Southern Genealogist Exchange Society

SGES is a nonprofit genealogical society in Jacksonville, Florida, providing information and resources for genealogists since 1964. Visitors are always welcome to browse through the more than 6,000 books and periodicals contained in the SGES library. You can research the entire U.S. and some foreign countries. Many family trees have been documented and placed within our library.

Jacksonville Genealogical Society

Florida Department of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics

Located under Certificates, Vital Statistics consists of official records of birth, death, fetal death, marriage, and dissolution of marriage. These records are essential for just administration of our law and for the protection of individual rights.

Florida Times-Union Centennial Edition

    The Florida Times-Union celebrated its first century of existence with a 312-page centennial edition, “Crowning a Century in Florida,” published December 27, 1964. This outstanding publication carried eight special sections plus a tabloid history and a review of Duval County’s progress in the previous 40 years. Richard Martin was the edition’s editor. Hundred of rare photographs were tracked down in the course of the staff’s research, including rare scenes of Jacksonville in the 1860s that had never previously been published.

American Life Histories

Interviews from the Federal Writers’ Project, 1936-1940. [Type in Jacksonville to the search box]

1876 Jacksonville City Directory

Webb’s Jacksonville and Consolidated Directory of Representative Cities in East and South Florida 1886


Webb’s Jacksonville and Consolidated Directory of Representative Cities in East and South Florida 1887


Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps of Duval County

The maps were mainly designed to help fire insurance agents determine the degree of damage to a property and show accurate information to help them determine risks and establish premiums. They showed the size (including color-coding), shape and construction of buildings (brick, adobe, frame, etc.), dwellings (including hotels and churches), and other structures such as bridges, docks and barns. Along with fire stations, you could also find water facilities, sprinklers, hydrants, cisterns, and alarm boxes as well as firewalls, windows, doors, elevators and chimneys and roof types. The maps included street names, property boundaries and lot lines, and house and block numbers. Other information such as the latest census figures, prevailing winds; railroad lines and Indian reservations and topography were included. Today, the maps are an invaluable guide to inner-city history, land use, and historic preservation.

Genealogy Research – Family History Center of Latter-day Saints

The Salt Lake City Genealogical Library was founded in 1894 to gather genealogical records and assist members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with their family history and genealogical research. It is the largest library of its kind in the world. The library collection has 2.4 million rolls of Family History Library microfilmed genealogical records and more than 742,000 microfiches in the main system.  A majority of the records contain information about persons who lived before 1930.

Florida Genealogical and Historical Resources

Florida Online Genealogy Records

Excellent collection of links to Florida statewide databases and collections.

Florida Online Historical Newspapers